The American Express on April 26 come up with a new website catering to luxury travelers. This launch marks its entry into the private sale travel market. This website called Vacationist.com aims to maintain an elite clientele by allowing membership through invitation only. This exclusive membership is similar to what Gilt Group’s Jetsetter website is doing. It features private sales and special rates to members only.
The website is an offspring of the partnership between Travel+ Leisure magazine, a sister concern of American Express, and Luxury Link, a luxury hotel website. The initial sales are a fun concoction of exotic and urban destinations, which include Turtle Island resort in Fiji, The Surrey in New York City, and The James Hotel in Chicago.
The site will be offering 25 to 40 percent rebates on published room rates for certain durations and will also provide reports from Travel + Leisure magazine editors. The initial invites to the Vacationist website will be exclusively given to Travel + Leisurecustomers and Luxury Link members. In past few months, Kayak and Travelocity have started their own members-only clubs, joining reputed sites such as Jetsetter and Tablet Hotels.
The American Express has had a lot of experience in the travel market. It owns a global network of travel agents and has a strong hold in the corporate travel market. So the already booming “private sales” market would get a further push by American Express’s entry.